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The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds on Your Own

Because many of us are strapped for cash these days, it makes sence that when we go to choose a weight-loss program, cost is a factor. Sure, you can’t put a price on your health, but wouldn’t you like to drop the weight in the most cost effective way possible? Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how much different diets cost, but what about if you set out to lose 20 pounds on your own? How much does that cost? Well, we did the math!

While many commercial diet programs cost upwards of $100 per pound lost, you can do things much cheaper on your own, assuming that you are losing two pounds a week over the course of 10 weeks:

Monthly gym membership: Although this varies across the country somewhat, $50 in almost any city in America will get you monthly access to a quality health club. So to lose 20 pounds, you’ll need to invest $150 total in a membership.

Workout apparel: Hit any department store sale or hit up Target’s affordable Champion brand and spend $150 total on new running shoes, a pair of shorts and a moisture-wicking shirt.

Food: You may think that healthy food is expensive, but when you pack your own lunches and favor cooking healthy at home instead of going out, the money and calories saved really add up! By following these tips to keep your food costs down you can keep your daily food costs to just $12 a day and eat like a healthy king or queen!

Tracking materials: Track your weight-loss success with a simple notebook ($3) and a tape measure ($3) to record your inches lost over time. You can also use the notebook to log your foods, journal your thoughts and make any notes.

Total cost of losing 20 pounds: $1,146, including food.

Cost per pound: An affordable $57.30 a pound.

Considering that many diet plans don’t include your food, less than $60 a pound is a steal! And for those of you who pride yourselves on being extra thrifty, we estimate that you can knock this number even further down by selecting a less expensive gym, or even working out at home with a few workout DVDs! You can also only buy healthy foods on sale and in season to save even more.

If cost has been holding you back from losing weight, it’s time to think again and get started being healthy!

January 17th, 2011

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(Page 1 of 1, 2 total comments)


I think this is pretty inflated. I lost 55 pounds in 6 months and I used the 30 Day Shred DVD I already had, added a Jackie Warner DVD somewhere along the way, and downloaded a free C25K podcast. I also downloaded a free calorie counting app for my phone. Eventually I did I have to buy new clothes, but that would happen regardless of how and where you lose they weight. I didn't run out and buy new workout clothes, I used what I had on hand. And I bought my running shoes on clearance. So...basically for a $10 DVD, and a clearanced pair of running shoes ($45), and a lot of hard work and dedication, I lost 55 pounds. Oh, and I never set foot in a gym.

posted Jan 17th, 2011 7:17 pm


Thanks for this Jenn! People certainly shouldn't get hung up on the price numbers when health is the goal, but in this economy it's hard not to. You can definitely make these numbers smaller! My gym membership is $35/mo, I shopped my new running shoes on sale, my running tops from Target were on clearance for $3 each, I buy lean meat like chicken, ground turkey and salmon on sale in bulk and we buy local (cheaper) veggies in season.

The workout at home w/ DVD is another great way to save money. Riding a bike, running, walking are also cheap and affordable. If you want/need a trainer, find a buddy and split the cost.

posted Jan 17th, 2011 5:57 pm


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